S'pore not lifting 8-person cap on social gatherings as it will 'significantly increase' risk of Covid-19 transmission

The government is reviewing this measure regularly, health minister Gan Kim Yong said.

Mandy How | March 24, 2021, 07:09 PM

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Despite the shift in working arrangements and increased capacity limits for certain events, Singapore will not be increasing its eight-person limit for social gatherings, Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) co-chairs Lawrence Wong and Gan Kim Yong confirmed at a virtual press conference on Mar. 24.

In response to a media question, Wong explained that it is "better" to move in a "controlled, deliberate and steady manner," rather than to move too quickly and risk the formation of Covid-19 clusters.

This is particularly so if the clusters are stemming from the more infectious strains of the virus, Wong said, which can spread very quickly.

Wong added that this was not a hypothetical situation, but something that has happened in other countries.

The education minister cited Singapore's past strategy of taking one cautious step at a time, and said that we will "continue to be the approach we take this year, relying heavily on data and evidence as we make each move".

Adding on to Wong, Gan said that the eight-person social gathering limit is a "very broad base measure", and that any adjustment to the number will have a "broad base impact" on the whole social interaction, which significantly increases the risk of transmission.

However, Gan also reassured Singaporeans that the government is looking at this regularly, and will review the measure when they are confident that it will not "create problems with transmissions".

"We will do the necessary adjustment, and we will make the appropriate announcement at the right time," he said.

Top image by Zhangxin Zheng